I was attempting to have a more creative title for this particular post, but last night at the embRACE event at The Midland Hotel Manchester was an event that spoke for itself.
One word to describe last nights event – pride. This meant so much to people in the room and you could truly feel it, everyone was truly proud of who they were and interested in how we could all do our bit to embrace inclusion.
embRACE is a group set up by the CIPD which is designed to create a safe space within the CIPD for those who wish to discuss racial diversity. This has always been a taboo subject that people don’t feel comfortable approaching and this event was designed to change attitudes towards this; why are we not discussing racial diversity more within our workspaces. A point I raised with a couple of the attendees was that employers often say “we are an equal opportunities employer” just to be clear, diversity and inclusion is not a tick box exercise to satisfy your equal opportunities policy, the conversations just need to simply take place; it is about truly embracing diversity.
The atmosphere at the event itself was wonderful, so many people coming together from all races and backgrounds to see how we can all do our bit to create cultures of inclusion. When I spoke to a number of people, I simply said that this is not a CIPD issue, this is not an organisation issue, this is a human issue and it needs to change.
These networks creates opportunities to connect with each other and bring communities together, it also allows people to have a voice within their organisations and as human beings, this platform is essential to help us positively move forward.
The embRACE team were established in June 2018 and given how new the group is; they have worked incredibly hard to make this happen in such a short timeframe, and as HR professionals, I believe we should all be involved in their work, we are all responsible for making diversity and inclusion part of our workplaces and every day life and last night’s event really demonstrated how important this subject is but it also sadly highlighted how overlooked the subject is.
Shakil Butt spoke briefly at the event and the way he described this was brilliant; diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance and choosing the song to dance to, and that is when you know you have arrived.
To find out more on embRACE and what how you can get involved, check out their page here.
The more we talk about diversity, the more we can do to make a difference.